SILVERDALE, Wash. – The U.S. Navy is holding open house outreach meetings for conducting naval special operations training in western Washington State.
The open house outreach meetings provide a forum for the public to obtain information about the proposed naval special operations training and to provide input and suggestions on the training activities and locations. There will not be a presentation or formal oral comment session. Navy representatives will be available to discuss the proposed training activities and locations.
Three open house outreach meetings will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
North Kitsap High School Commons
1780 NE Hostmark St.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Blue Heron School Commons
3939 San Juan Ave.
Port Townsend, WA
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Oak Harbor School District
ASC Board Room
350 S. Oak Harbor St.
Oak Harbor, WA
The Navy proposes to conduct small-unit land and maritime training activities for naval special operations personnel. Activities are often combined together and performed sequentially to meet training requirements. The intent of the proposed training is to: 1) teach trainees the skills needed to avoid detection and 2) not leave any trace of their presence during or after training activities.
Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command executes its congressionally mandated roles and responsibilities under 10 United States Code Section 167. The proposed training would consist of diving and swimming; inserting and extracting trainees and/or equipment using small watercraft; launching and recovering small watercraft; using unmanned underwater vehicles; moving on foot over the beach; hiking to an observation point and using observation techniques while remaining hidden; clearing areas/structures using paint pellets as simulated munitions (used only in limited locations); conducting high-angle climbing; and using small unmanned aircraft systems on military installations, designated warning areas, or restricted airspace. The proposed training does not include the use of live-fire ammunition, explosive demolitions, manned air operations, off-road driving, vegetation cutting, digging, tree climbing, or the building of camp fires or infrastructure. The Navy would not build training devices or structures at any site during the proposed training activities. The proposed training is needed to meet training and readiness requirements and to ensure that naval special operations personnel are prepared for worldwide deployment.
The proposed training would occur on selected nearshore lands and in the inland waters of Puget Sound, including Hood Canal, as well as the southwestern Washington coast. Proposed training would occur on private, public, state, and/or Department of Defense lands. However, training would only occur on properties with the permission of property owners or managers. Within each area, sites have been identified to support the unique training-environment requirements of naval special operations. Additionally, the proximity to several existing Navy installations in the area maximizes logistics, safety, and security.
The Navy has conducted training in the Pacific Northwest for more than 70 years, including naval special operations training for the past 30 years. Puget Sound, including Hood Canal, and the southwestern Washington coast offer unique conditions which create opportunities for realistic and challenging special operations training in a safe, sheltered, cold-water environment. The combination of military presence in proximity to sites with diverse shoreline terrain, hydrography, and bathymetry is vital to the progressive improvement of skill sets and readiness requirements.
Input and suggestions are welcome until May 18, 2017. The Navy welcomes public input and suggestions on proposed training activities and locations. There will also be an opportunity for public comment during the draft Environmental Assessment. Written feedback may be submitted in person at the outreach meetings, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via postal mail to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
Attention: Project Manager, EV21.AW
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101
For more information, please visit the website at https://navfac.navy.mil/NSOEA.
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: There is an opportunity for media to speak with project personnel at 4:30 p.m. before each meeting. Media interested in attending or seeking further information should contact: Sheila Murray, Navy Region Northwest Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 360-396-4981.